Staying Informed - Incredibly Easy and Simple Ways to be Connected with the World

In Benjamin Franklin’s book, The Way to Wealth, he says, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” For college students especially, it is imperative that they start to step out of the immediate bubble of their surroundings in their daily lives and make their way forward in perceiving themselves in a local, national, and global context. Knowing current events, as well as historical events, enables students to understand the context of their environment and where they are headed in the future.

In the effort to incorporate knowledge into students’ daily lives beyond their classrooms, both passive and active actions can help in achieving the goal of being a better-informed citizen of the world. The following are simple ways to incorporate the cumulation of knowledge in students’ lives.


1) Got a smart home device?

Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Google Home, Apple’s HomePod are just a few of the smart voice-assistant devices that enable the user to listen to podcasts and the news. Right after I wake up and when I’m getting ready in the morning, I ask Alexa to “tell me the news”. On Amazon’s Echo products, you can set up various news and podcast stations to your preference and have them all come up when asking Alexa for the news. This is a very easy, simple, and passive way to get your daily dose of the information you need to stay informed.


2) Online/Mobile Subscriptions to Newspapers

College students almost always have their phones on them. I know I certainly do. So, when I’m waiting for my coffee at Starbucks or have a couple of minutes waiting for someone, I pull up my New York Times and The Wall Street Journal mobile app and start reading. There’s no need to read every article on the home page or a particular news section; even just scrolling through the headlines enables students to stay in touch with the world and can accommodate the busiest of schedules.

As college students, there are substantial discounts on subscriptions to newspapers. Take advantage of them during the four short years of college!


3) Newsletters: Subscribe to Daily/Weekly News via Email

For students who are regular email checkers, email news subscriptions may be ideal. Instead of looking for news, the information comes to you! A daily or weekly email listed with current events sent right to your inbox might be the push one needs to catch up on the world. The Wall Street Journal has email news subscriptions (no cost to its digital subscribers) specific to topics such as real estate, technology, energy, markets, sports, and health.


4) Follow News Organizations on Social Media

News organizations are on social media, too! Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter are all popular apps that a lot of students check every day. Since you know you’ll be looking at them anyway, following new organizations on those platforms is an easy way to have direct access to information. While looking at celebrities’ or your friends’ Instagram stories, you could also take a look at a news organization’s Instagram story.

While many of the options of staying informed listed above have focused on gathering knowledge from news organizations, other institutions such as the National Geographic or the History Channel are also great places to learn about the world.


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